WORLD-CHANGING IDEAS:
AFRICA

These companies are tackling some of the most serious challenges now threatening the planet.

XITSONGA APP

Xitsonga App provides users with thousands of words translated from Xitsonga to English in a fun and intuitive way.  See something and need to know what it’s called in Xitsonga? Simply take a picture using the Xitsonga vision feature. The app also shares the wisdom of the Vatsonga people by providing access to proverbs and idioms.  Mukondleteri Dumela is the 29-year-old young man behind who developed it first as a website to instil a sense of pride within the Vatsonga community.

rAINBOW

rAInbow is a chatbot that helps victims of gender-based violence to navigate difficult relationship situations. Accessed via Facebook Messenger, rAInbow democratizes access to information and support for victims of domestic violence, their friends, and their family. It provides a safe space for those at risk of entering controlling relationships, including victims and survivors of domestic violence, to access information about their rights, support options and where they can find help – in friendly, simple language. The bot was used extensively during lockdown in South Africa when many victims were locked with their abusers. In the absence of traditional methods to access support the bot proved to be a safer way to get and it will continue to be instrumental in assisting victims of gender-based violence.

rAInbow was built in collaboration with SAGe Foundation by AI for Good – a company on a mission to solve the biggest problems facing humanity using ethical technology and AI-powered solutions.

GHANA’S VACCINE DELIVERY DRONES

Ghana became the first country in the world to receive a consignment of Covid-19 vaccines by drone. The COVAX doses, which had arrived in Accra as part of a cargo of 600 000 vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, were collected by health workers after a precisely targeted parachute drop. The idea of using drones to deliver vaccines has proven to be a smarter way to get vaccines to hard-to-reach areas.

Deliveries were made by US firm Zipline, which started couriering blood and drugs in Rwanda in 2016. Conditions in Ghana have inspired an idea amongst health professionals to use drones provided by Zipline to distribute vaccines in rural areas.

EASY EQUITIES

Easy Equities is an online platform that allows anyone to buy shares in the brands and companies they love. For as little as R5, $10, or whatever amount they have available to invest (and with no monthly brokerage fees) newbie and seasoned investors alike can grow their wealth. For many South Africans investing in listed companies was a no-go area. Easy equities have democratised investments with the potential to give South Africans access to more investment opportunities.

UBUNTU BEDS

The Ubuntu Beds initiative is the brainchild of a hotel owner who decided to unite hospitality businesses that have been empty since the lockdown began in March.  Ubuntu Beds links accommodation providers with healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The platform gives healthcare workers at the frontline an option to stay closer to the hospitals where they’re working and to help them avoid the risk of cross-infection in their homes.When UCT experienced fires, Ubuntu Beds was at the forefront of providing students with alternative residences in empty Cape Town hospitals.

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